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Everything Shuts down for Carnival on St. Barts


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Carnival was 2/14 – 2/17/2010. Here is some info on the carnival. Perhaps the most famous celebration in the Caribbean is Carnival, and St. Barts throws its own kind of party. Carnival starts just before the beginning of Catholic Lent. But before this period of atonement begins, the streets fill with the sounds of rhythmic drums, singing, and St. Barts festive parades. Carnival, or Vaval as it is known by the islanders, lasts four days, and all business is put on hold.

If you enjoy this type of event, then visit during Carnival. Gustavia closes down about 2 PM. However Alamo rental car told us we had to return the car by 12:30. All stores are closed. Car rental offices are closed, including their return car parks, and the roads are closed to all traffic. So, if you travel outside the town of Gustavia return by the time you are told, or you will have major headaches with the road closures. If not properly planned, it could cause you to miss the ship.


If you have specific plans for what you want to do, or you want to travel outside Gustavia to other parts of the island, then consider changing the date of your cruise so you can visit and travel freely when it is NOT CARNIVAL time.


Several Caribbean Islands have Carnival. Some of the Carnivals occur in Aug. So check each of the islands you will visit to determine Carnival status and plan your cruise to meet your own traveling pleasure.

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How can I find out when Carnival is in 2011?
Just check the Roman Catholic church calendar.

It's all about having a big rave-up before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday!


I say "Roman Catholic" because Carnival is pretty much an RC thing -a last fling of the flesh(carne?)

before enduring the Lenten period where ppl swear-off alcohol, smoking, sex, ..whatever (good luck!)



And if you think the Carnival in St.Barts causes things to grind to a halt :D

don't go anywhere near Trinidad and Tobago

where the whole country goes totally ape bananas and Nothing gets done.


If you want to see a country in voluntary,temporary psychosis, go to Trinidad(specifically -not Tobago,so much)

between the Friday nite leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday.


I've done it three times,now -never again! -although it was great that first time.


You don't know the meaning of the word overwhelming until you've done either Rio or Trinidad Carnival.


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Several Caribbean Islands have Carnival. Some of the Carnivals occur in August.
Yes, you're quite right.


REAL Carnival is during March(usually) =cruise season

but many islands, like my Barbados hold another carnival related to Crop Over

(end of the sugar cane harvest).


Barbados does it on the first Monday in August, when it's a public holiday

so don't plan on doing anything too business/commercial on That Day either! ;)


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